Monday Markets Mail #KW 23

on 2nd May 2020

Domestic economy shrank by 2.9 percent due to Corona

Vienna (APA) - Austria's economy contracted somewhat more sharply than previously expected in the first quarter due to the corona crisis, with a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.9 per cent in real terms year-on-year, the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (Wifo) announced. The initial estimate one month ago was minus 2.7 percent.
Stronger than recently expected was above all the weakening of consumer spending by private households, which accounted for 4.3 per cent instead of 3.6 per cent - which means that the retail sector also weakened even more. Foreign trade also fell more sharply from January to March: exports and imports fell by 4.2 and 4.9 per cent respectively within the year, whereas at the end of April, a decline of 3.9 and 4.4 per cent had been expected. Admittedly, the decline was strongest in the areas of sports, cultural and entertainment facilities and personal services (e.g. hairdressers) with an unchanged 8.1 percent and in the large area of "retail, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, transport, accommodation and catering" with a continued 7.3 percent.
The slump in growth in the current Corona crisis is "much sharper" than at the outbreak of the financial market and economic crisis in late autumn 2008, the Wifo stressed in a statement: "A GDP decline of this magnitude is exceptional at the beginning of a crisis in peacetime.